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PA sticks to Aqaba terms while Israel continues its crimes

March 10, 2023 at 12:30 pm

People stage a protest after 6 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during a military raid on Tuesday in the West Bank city of Jenin [Mamoun Wazwaz – Anadolu Agency]

Undercover Israeli occupation forces sneaked into the village of Jaba in the occupied Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin yesterday morning. Dozens of Israeli Special Forces followed them in armoured military vehicles.

Under drone cover, they opened fire at a private Palestinian car with three young Palestinians inside. All of them died. According to an eyewitness, the Israeli occupation forces pulled the dead Palestinians out of their car before detonating a small explosive device inside the vehicle.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said the three young men were shot dead, identifying them as Ahmad Fashafsheh, 22, Sufian Fakhouri, 26, and Nayef Malaysheh, 25. Their killing has been described as an “execution”.

Fourteen-year-old Walid Nassar also died yesterday morning from wounds he sustained during the Israeli military raid on Jenin refugee camp on Tuesday, when the Israeli occupation forces murdered six Palestinian men and wounded 26 others, including two who suffered serious injuries.

The Israeli occupation army claimed that the three young men killed in Jaba were members of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine, while the six killed on Tuesday included the Palestinian fighter who killed two Israeli soldiers who lived in an illegal settlement near the Palestinian village of Huwara last week.

Since the start of the year, Israeli occupation forces and extremist Jewish settlers have killed 78 Palestinians, including 14 children and a woman. Most of these people were civilians, but Israel claims several were fighters affiliating to Hamas, Islamic Jihad or the Lions’ Den – a newly formed Palestinian armed group that mainly exist in Nablus who carry out resistance attacks against Israeli occupation targets.

These Israeli raids and attacks on the Palestinians are being carried with full security coordination from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Due to the recent deadly attacks, the PA’s leadership has asked the Israeli occupation to calm down and give the opportunity for the Palestinian security services to deal with the armed Palestinian resistance.

However, Israel continued its raids. The PA warned it would stop security coordination, but this has done nothing to hinder the occupation’s actions.

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Following a deadly Israeli attack on Jenin refugee camp on 26 January during which the Israeli occupation forces killed nine Palestinians, including a 61-year-old woman, and wounded over 20 others, like every time, PA President Mahmoud Abbas made his fake announcement that he was halting security coordination with the occupation.

Abbas needed to make this announcement. Palestinians had become vocal in their denunciation of him as an Israeli collaborator. However, while Abbas was announcing the halt of security coordination with the Israeli occupation, his envoy was sitting with the Israeli envoy at a security summit held in Jordanian city of Aqaba.

According to a press release posted on the web page of the US State Department on the same day of Abbas’ announcement, senior officials from Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Palestine and the US met in Aqaba and “agreed to pursue confidence-building measures and strengthen mutual trust in order to address outstanding issues [in occupied territories] through direct dialogue.”

The press release stated that the Israeli occupation and the PA “confirmed their joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months. This includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for four months and to stop authorisation of any outposts for six months.”

While Deputy PA Prime Minister Nabil Abu Rudeineh announced a Palestinian plan to submit a complaint to the UN Security Council, International Criminal Court (ICC) and other international bodies following Israel’s raid of Jenin. However, immediately after the Aqaba Summit, the PA cancelled these plans. It trusted the Israeli occupation and decided to resume security coordination.

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However, Israel immediately rejected the summit’s agreements, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to continue building new settlements and saying that the Israeli army will continue its raids on Palestinians. Following every Israeli attack, Netanyahu praises the occupation army and brags about killing alleged “terrorists”.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Netanyahu at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday before the latter headed to Italy. Austin urged Netanyahu to commit to the recommendations of the Aqaba Summit. A Pentagon readout of the meeting said that Austin called for “immediate steps to de-escalate violence and work towards a just and lasting peace.”

The US did not hide its opposition to Israel’s mishandling of the situation in the occupied territories. “The United States [remains] firmly opposed to any acts that could trigger more insecurity, including settlement expansion and inflammatory rhetoric,” Austin told reporters after his meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. “We are especially disturbed by violence by settlers against Palestinians,” he added.

Actually, the PA did what it had to do. It maintained security coordination. It detained Palestinian fighters, passed all of their data to the Israeli occupation, attacked them and even opened fire at a funeral, but Israel remains unsatisfied. It continues committing its crimes against Palestinians.

It is clear that Israel will only “de-escalate” when it believes the source of tension has gone. For Tel Aviv, this has only one meaning – the elimination of all Palestinians from every single inch of the historic land of Palestine.

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